The Dark Days of Clontarf in the 1960s

June 8, 2007 at 12:12 am 3 comments

I mentioned this in a comment on another post yesterday, so I thought I’d put up the full story today. John McGahern’s The Dark was banned in 1965. A primary school teacher on leave of absence, he was ‘advised’ not to return to his job in Clontarf. When he reported for duty, he was sacked. The parish priest said that not only had his writing caused trouble, but he had also got married in a registry office. >>>

Formal Letter

McGahern demanded a formal letter from the parish priest explaining why he had been sacked, so that he could take the issue up with his union, the INTO. The parish priest gave him the letter, but all that it read was:

Mr McGahern is well aware of the reasons of his dismissal.

Teachers’ Union

McGahern went to the INTO, but they refused to help him. They told him that his membership had lapsed during his leave of absence. One official explained that they might have helped if it was just the banned book, but

With marrying this woman, you’re an impossible case.

English Bride

Another official, who McGahern remembers as being drunk (this was a mid-day meeting), wanted to know why McGahern had married an English bride when

There are so many Irish women going around with their tongues out for a husband.

Ah, the good old days.


Entry filed under: Culture, Religion.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ScaryGirl  |  June 8, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    His bride was Finnish – Annikki Laaksi. One less thing to blame on the Brits!

  • 2. Michael Nugent  |  June 8, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    That’s interesting. Thanks for that. Maybe the INTO official assumed that she must be British given her scandalous behaviour.

  • 3. Paige Harrison  |  June 8, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    It would have been so much less troublesome had they just sacked him for being a shite writer!


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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.


Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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